Antioch, the third-largest city in the Roman Empire, was at the crossroads of major trading routes, a gateway to the ancient world. That early Christians fled the persecution in Jerusalem by going to such a cosmopolitan city was like a divine wind blowing on a dandelion: It spread the gospel throughout the empire.
There was a divine plan at work here, even in the midst of persecution. Yet the divine plan depended on human beings saying yes. The successful spread of the gospel depended on the witness of committed disciples. The passage says Cypriots and Cyrenians began to speak of Jesus Christ in Antioch, and then Barnabas—“a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith”—arrived.
Today, if we are to be worthy of the name “Christian,” we must respond to the Spirit’s call to bear witness in our communities.
Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.
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